Syilx Nation’s Unity Run Continues to Raise Awareness About Suicide and Violence Prevention

May 8th, 2019

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: From May 9-12, 2019, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) will host the 11th annual Spirit of Syilx Youth Unity Run. This event brings over 100 Syilx youth from across the Nation together to run through 350 kilometers of Syilx territory.

The Okanagan Nation is currently facing an opioid overdose crisis, alongside disproportionate levels of violence and suicide. In the face of these urgent and serious issues the Okanagan Nation’s Chief Executive Council (CEC) are developing and implementing well-being strategies that are based in all aspects of Syilx culture. The Unity Run is one of these impactful approaches, used to raise awareness and education with all youth members, citizens and the public on issues of suicide and violence that continues to confront Syilx communities.

Beyond these foundational goals, the Unity Run provides an innovative and holistic means of promoting wellness to Syilx youth. By engaging a wide range of tools – from physical activity, recognition of connection to land, and implementation of the Syilx teachings, culture and language – the Run provides participants with a deep sense of well-being. It educates on healthy lifestyle alongside facilitating the experience of community, connection and belonging. Syilx youth are also provided connection to their territory together as a Nation, while building relationships with Syilx elders, thus enacting our inherent responsibility to each other, the land and for generations to come.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, ONA Chairman, states, “The Spirit of Syilx Youth Unity Run affirms the Okanagan Nation’s dedication to coming together and holding up our youth. In line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 22 we must all ensure that our children are provided with full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence. This Run not only raises awareness on these issues of violence, but instills wellness and pride in our culture and nsyilxcen language for generations to come. The youth that take part in the Unity Run are tomorrow’s leaders. It fills me with pride to witness this young people rising up, building and fostering strength in each other and our Nation”.

This year the Unity Run begins on May 9 at Polson Park in Vernon, heads across to Douglas Lake, down through Kingsvale and finishes on May 12 in Manning Park, BC. A wide range of participants take part in the Unity Run every year, including Syilx youth, elders, leaders, Nation members and a range of other participants that wish to contribute and support to the event.

For further information please contact:

Jennifer Lewis
T: 1-250-250-826-7844 E:

MEDIA RELEASE- Unity Run 2019 pdf

B.C. Court of Appeal Confirms Rights in Arrow Lakes

May 3rd, 2019

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Okanagan Territory: The Chiefs of the Syilx Okanagan Nation welcome the May 2, 2019 decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in R. v. Desautel, recognizing and protecting Sinixt Aboriginal hunting rights in B.C. Sinixt are inextricably linked to our broader Syilx Okanagan Nation, sharing common language, culture, history, traditions and […]

Restoring cəm’tus (white sturgeon) for a multispecies fishery

May 2nd, 2019

On May 3, 2019, at 10 am, the Syilx Okanagan Nation will host a cəm’tus (White Sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus) juvenile release ceremony at Millenium Park in Castlegar, BC. Approximately 100 cəm’tus fry will be into the upper reaches of the Columbia River on May 3, 25 of which will be released during the ceremony. Historically, […]

4.2 Million sc’win (Sockeye) Fry to be Released into Okanagan Watershed

April 30th, 2019

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Syilx/Okanagan Nation’s Chiefs Executive Council affirm a shared responsibility to care for Syilx lands and resources, including responsibility to our sacred waters and the foods that they provide. This year marks another huge milestone with 4.2 million sockeye fry being released into the Okanagan Watershed, primarily into Okanagan Lake. This […]

cikilaxwm (Prescribed Burn) at kiʔ ʕacqxʷúʔ (Crater Mtn) Update

April 3rd, 2019

On April 2, at kiʔ ʕacqxʷúʔ (Crater Mtn) a cikilaxwm (prescribed fire) took place to restore forest and grassland health, including bighorn sheep habitat. The day  began with a ceremony with Herman Edward, and proceeded with an operations and safety meetings. Conditions outlined in the burn plan (created by Rob Edward and Richard Swift of […]

BC Wildfires Services: Prescribed Burn Scheduled Near Crater Mountain Information Bulletin

April 2nd, 2019

The BC Wildfire Service, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band plan to conduct a 192-hectare prescribed burn near Crater Mountain, about 15 kilometres west of Keremeos. The burn is the first phase of a comprehensive, multi-year project that is intended to improve bighorn sheep habitat, reduce wildfire threats to nearby communities […]

Okanagan Nation Alliance Asserts Need For Partnerships On Water Protection in the Territory With 5th Annual siwɬkʷ (Water) Forum

March 22nd, 2019

scʕaxans nhithitwəl̓ (Peachland Watershed), Syilx Territory: On March 22, 2019, as part of World Water Day, the Okanagan Nation hosted the 5th annual siwɬkʷ (Water) Forum. This year’s theme was ‘Collaborative Approach to Water Resiliency: Protecting Our Headwaters’, and in collaboration with the Town of Peachland, focused on the health and protection of the scʕaxans […]

cikilaxwm (Prescribed Fire) Used to Manage Bighorn Sheep Habitat on Syilx Territory

March 18th, 2019

kiʔ ʕacqxʷúʔ (Crater Mtn), Syilx Territory: This March, as part of a Syilx land management practice, a cikilaxwm (prescribed fire) will take place at kiʔ ʕacqxʷúʔ (Crater Mountain) to restore forest and grassland health, including bighorn sheep habitat. “After the devastating wildfires that we experienced in 2018 it is vital that we implement these practices […]

B.C. First Nations, Province partner in historic revenue-sharing agreement

February 20th, 2019

As part of Budget 2019, First Nations in British Columbia will have a stable, long-term source of funding to invest in their communities’ priorities, through a historic revenue-sharing agreement between the Province and the First Nations Leadership Council. Starting April 2019, approximately $3 billion over 25 years will be shared with B.C. First Nations, meaning […]

UBCIC Briefing Note: BC Speech from the Throne, 2019

February 19th, 2019

BRIEFING NOTE TO: UBCIC CHIEFS COUNCIL FROM: UBCIC EXECUTIVE DATE: FEB 19, 2019 RE: BC SPEECH FROM THE THRONE, 2019 PURPOSE To provide a summary and analysis of the reforms and initiatives presented in the Throne Speech delivered at the BC Legislature in Victoria. BACKGROUND Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin initiated the spring session of BC legislature […]